Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Justice Department’

16th August 2011

Frequent followers of American political developments may have noted the results of the recent Iowa straw poll, a non-binding poll taken to gauge the sentiments of the sovereign State of Iowa‘s electorate. The substance of this posting is not an analysis of that poll, but an analysis of the response of the so-called “mainstream media” in the aftermath of the poll. In order to provide further elucidation it is necessary to quote directly from an Associated Press article featured on Yahoo News at Yahoo.com:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Ron Paul, once seen as a fringe candidate and a nuisance to the establishment, is shaping the 2012 Republican primary by giving voice to the party’s libertarian wing and reflecting frustration with the United States’ international entanglements. The Texas congressman placed second in a key early test vote Saturday in Ames, coming within 152 votes of winning the first significant balloting of the Republican nominating contest. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota won the nonbinding Iowa straw poll, but Paul’s organizational strength and a retooled focus on social issues set him up to be a serious player in the campaign. “I believe in a very limited role for government. But the prime reason that government exists in a free society is to protect liberty, but also to protect life. And I mean all life,” he told a raucous crowd on Saturday… Later Saturday, Paul won 4,671 votes, or roughly 28 percent of the votes from party activists who flocked to a college campus for the daylong political carnival Paul’s narrow second-place finish pushed former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty down to third, leading Pawlenty on Sunday to abandon his effort to challenge President Barack Obama next November… [sic]

This blogger asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to read this enlightening story in detail.

Of interest to this blogger is the fact that only recently the campaign of Ron Paul was viewed as “outside the mainstream” by some commentators, but that view appears to be fading away. Meanwhile, Representative Ron Paul is not the only candidate to have apparently gained ground in the aftermath of the Ames Straw Poll as Representative Michele Bachmann, the winner of the poll, has seen something of a “boost in momentum” as of late. Although the campaign is far from over and an ultimate Republican nominee remains to be seen, the 2012 campaign is shaping up to be quite interesting and arguably unique from an historical perspective. This stated, there is little doubt that President Barack Obama will be a formidable adversary in the upcoming general election (as evidenced by his strong campaign in 2008). Therefore, those, like this blogger, who follow politics the way others may follow sports or favorite TV programs may find the 2012 campaign to be exciting indeed.

In the world of American politics it has often been said that “Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows”. This maxim is quite correct, but perhaps a variation on this theme is appropriate under the circumstances: “Budget Deficits Elicit Strange Solutions”. It recently came to this blogger’s attention that many American States and the District of Columbia are contemplating implementation of various forms of online gaming. To provide further details on these developments this blogger is compelled to quote directly from a recent article posted on the CNBC website, CNBC.com:

The District of Columbia is not thrilled that its residents are traveling to Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to gamble in casinos. Starved for cash, like states across the country, the district wants some of the millions in revenue that gambling generates each year.So district officials want residents to gamble closer to home — inside their homes, actually. Or in cafes, restaurants and bars. By year’s end the district hopes to introduce an Internet gambling hub that would allow Washington residents to play blackjack, poker and other casino-style games…It’s an idea gaining currency around the country: virtual gambling as part of the antidote to local budget woes. The District of Columbia is the first to legalize it, while Iowa is studying it, and bills are pending in places like California and Massachusetts. But the states may run into trouble with the Justice Department, which has been cracking down on all forms of Internet gambling…The states say they will put safeguards in place to deal with the potential social ills. And they say they need the money from online play, which will supplement the taxes they already receive from gambling at horse tracks, poker houses and brick-and-mortar casinos…

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this interesting article in its entirety.

Frequent readers of this web log may recall that the current federal restrictions imposed upon certain facets of online gaming are the result of the rather dubious legislative machinations surrounding the passage of the SAFE Port Act (sometimes referred to as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 or UIGEA). As a result of this legislation, some online gaming operators have been subjected to fines and/or sanctions (including the threat of incarceration) for allegedly illegal activity. Therefore, the possibility that States and federal jurisdictions may be contemplating online gaming as a possible source of revenue may come as a relief to some within this interesting and often misunderstood industry. In any event, hopefully arrangements can be made to provide a reasonably beneficial framework from both an operational and revenue generation perspective.

It should be noted that under most circumstances gambling is illegal in the Kingdom of Thailand.

For related information please see: Online Gaming Lawyers.

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4th July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that many developments have been taking place with respect to same sex marriage and the legal recognition thereof. It would appear as though many different organs of the United States government have taken a rather positive stance on LGBT Equality. In order to better expound upon these events it may be prudent to quote directly from the official website of the New York Times, NYTimes.com:

Last month, with almost no fanfare, the federal government did a very decent thing: It canceled the deportation of a Venezuelan man after he married an American man in Connecticut and claimed legal residency as a spouse. But the government did not say that it was formally recognizing their marriage, because it cannot. The Defense of Marriage Act, which ranks with the most overtly discriminatory laws in the nation’s history, remains on the books, prohibiting federal recognition of legal same-sex marriages… The Defense of Marriage Act was enacted in 1996 as an election-year wedge issue, signed by President Bill Clinton in one of his worst policy moments. Any Congress with a real respect for personal freedom would repeal it. That, of course, does not describe the current Congress, where many members talk a great deal about freedom but apply it mainly to businesses and gun owners. With legislative repeal not on the horizon, the best hope for ending this legalized bigotry is with the courts. Last year, a federal judge in Massachusetts said the law’s definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman violated the equal-protection provisions of the Constitution. In June, a federal bankruptcy court in California said the law was unconstitutional. Other cases have been filed in New York and Connecticut, and the Justice Department, having agreed that the marriage definition is unconstitutional, has refused to defend it in those court cases. (The House hired its own lawyer to defend the law.)

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this insightful story in detail.

This blogger would also note that there is one seemingly barely reported aspect of the debate which centers upon the issue of federal recognition of same sex marriages legalized and/or solemnized in one of the American jurisdictions which permit such unions. This under reported issue is that of States’ Rights. Although it may not seem immediately pertinent, the issues associated with the sovereign American States’ rights to legalize and/or solemnize marriage within their respective jurisdictions may very well be a central issue to be analyzed with respect to adjudication of the Constitutionality of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). There are some who would argue that failure on the part of the United States Congress to provide a framework to grant Full Faith and Credit to same sex marriages might be in violation of the provisions of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution. As of the time of this writing, however, the United States federal government continues to refuse recognition of same sex marriage pursuant to DOMA.

Bearing the above in mind, it should be noted that it would appear as though this issue is still evolving within the American political zeitgeist as it was recently pointed out that the American President has had some discussions regarding this issue. To quote directly from the official website of the Financial Times, FT.com:

A calculating Washington operative might construe Barack Obama’s continued reluctance to support same-sex marriage as a clever strategic ploy to maximise votes as the 2012 presidential election race gets under way… At a Gay Pride reception at the White House on Wednesday, just five days after New York became the seventh jurisdiction in the US to allow same-sex weddings, Mr Obama trumpeted his achievements: winning the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, and ordering the justice department to stop defending the law that bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Gays and lesbians deserve to be “treated like every other American”, Mr Obama said. But the president, who backs civil unions for same-sex couples and last December said his views on gay marriage were “evolving”, still declined to back gay marriage. This dichotomy – being the most progressive president to date on gay issues, but not progressive enough for marriage equality – has disappointed many liberal voters…

This blogger asks readers to click upon the appropriate hyperlinks above to read more from this interesting posting.

Although the President’s views on same sex marriage are “evolving” it remains to be seen when such evolution will result in tangible benefits for the LGBT community. One of the significant ramifications of the current application of DOMA is the fact that this legislation’s enforcement drives bi-national same sex couples geographically apart. Notwithstanding the rescinded deportation noted above, DOMA remains in force and so long as that legislation remains in force there will be same sex bi-national couples who remain separated. Some American legislators such as Representative Jerrold Nadler and Representative Mike Honda have introduced legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), the Reuniting Families Act, and the Respect for Marriage Act. This legislation would, to one degree or another, ameliorate some of the discrimination currently being endured by the LGBT community in America. However, as of this posting, such legislation has yet to be enacted. It should be interesting to see if such legislation will see passage in the weeks and months ahead.

For related information please see: US Visa Thailand.

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7th June 2010

In previous postings on this blog, we have discussed the naturalization process and the various ways in which individuals can become Citizens of the United States of America. Many believe, erroneously, that once a person is naturalized to US Citizenship, they cannot lose their citizenship. Unfortunately for some, this is not necessarily the case. US law provides for denaturalization under certain circumstances. Generally, denaturalization only occurs in siutuations where the applicant for naturalization was dishonest in their application for US Citizenship. The following is a quote from a recent presss release promulgated by the American Justice Department:

A former member of the Bosnian Serb Army has left the United States to return to Serbia after a federal judge ordered his denaturalization based on concealment during his application for U.S. citizenship that he served in the military during the Bosnian war, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Brian Albritton of the Middle District of Florida and Assistant Secretary John Morton of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).


Jadranko Gostic, 47 , a former resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., departed the United States on June 1 , 2010. U.S. District Court Judge James Moody in Tampa, Fla., ordered his denaturalization on May 26, 2010. Gostic was indicted in December 2006 on one count of unlawful procurement of citizenship and one count of making false statements. In January 2010, a civil complaint was filed against Gostic alleging illegal procurement of U.S. citizenship and requesting his denaturalization. Court documents allege that Gostic served in the Zvornik Infantry Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army from April 1992 until December 1995. According to court documents, international tribunals have found that some units of the Zvornik Brigade engaged in war crimes and crimes against humanity , and that they participated in the July 1995 action against the Srebrenica enclave during which some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were executed.


Gostic entered the United States in 1999, received lawful permanent residence status in 2002 and was naturalized in 2004. According to court documents, at each stage of the immigration and naturalization process Gostic concealed his service in the Zvornik Brigade, even when specifically asked about his prior military service.


Gostic agreed to admit to the allegations against him, to be denaturalized, to surrender his lawful permanent resident status and to depart the United States. Gostic fulfilled the requirements of this agreement and departed the United States. As a result of his cooperation, the criminal charges against Gostic will be dismissed.


This case was investigated by the ICE Tampa Special-Agent-in-Charge Office and was prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney William Kenety in the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Hansen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.


The Criminal Division announced the formation of HRSP on March 30, 2010, as part of the U.S. government’s efforts to bring human rights violators to justice and deny those violators safe haven in the United States. The new section represents a merger of the Criminal Division’s Domestic Security Section (DSS) and the Office of Special Investigations (OSI).

As can be gathered from the above press release, Denaturalization proceedings are not taken lightly by the American government nor is it a matter that is taken lightly by the US Courts. That said, in certain situations, denaturalization is warranted if the naturalized American’s actions require the implementation of such a measure. This is one more prime example of why honesty is the best policy when it comes to US Immigration as dishonesty can “unravel” one’s lawful status in the United States, even if that status is US Citizenship.

For related information please see:  US Visa Thailand or Child Citizenship Act.

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6th June 2010

In a recent news release from the American Justice Department it was announced that a US Border Patrol Agent has plead guilty to charges that he assaulted a Mexican National and thereby violated that individual’s civil rights. To quote the press release:

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Eduardo Moreno pleaded guilty today in federal court in Tucson, Ariz., to a federal criminal civil rights charge for assaulting a Mexican national who was in his custody, the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona announced today. Sentencing has been scheduled for Aug. 12, 2010.
The underlying incident occurred on May 10, 2006, while Moreno was on duty at the U.S. Border Patrol Processing Center in Nogales, Ariz. During the plea proceedings and in documents filed in court, Moreno admitted that while escorting the victim at the center, he kicked the victim, struck him in the stomach with a baton, threw him down to ground, and punched him, all without any legitimate law enforcement reason to use force. As a result of the defendant’s actions, the victim suffered bodily injury.


“We place a great deal of trust in federal law enforcement officers, and the Civil Rights Division will aggressively prosecute any officer who violates the rights of others and abuses the power they are given to perform their critical duties,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.


Moreno faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. An additional count in the indictment of making a false statement to federal agents will be dismissed under the plea agreement. This case was investigated by agents of the FBI and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The case is being jointly prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Hansen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and Trial Attorney Edward Chung of the Civil Rights Division.

This is an unfortunate incident which some feel is symptomatic of an overall problem in the area of US Immigration. Many advocates are calling for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), if for no other reason than to clarify the finer points of US Immigration law, procedure, and regulation. Hopefully, by creating a discourse about immigration many of the problems plaguing law enforcement agencies and local communities can be adequately addressed to the satisfaction of all concerned.

This author applauds the efforts of the American Justice Department as they seek to make the rule of law binding upon individuals in the USA, government agencies, and government agents alike.

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